SSHS girls move up two notces at regional golf tournament; boys finish in eighth place
From Staff Reports

April 26, 2006 - DENTON - The weather conditions at Bridlewood Golf Club were worse on Tuesday as a cold front blew through, but the Sulphur Springs girls shot better than they did on Monday to move up two places at the regional golf tournament.

Sulphur Springs jumped from ninth to seventh on the second and final day at the Class 4A, Region II tournament by shaving 13 strokes off their first-day score.

The SSHS boys, meanwhile, stayed in eighth place at Robson Ranch Golf Course.

GIRLS

FLOWER MOUND - After shooting a 389 as a team on Monday, the Lady Cats came back with a 376 on Tuesday to finish with a 765 two-day total. They jumped over Mansfield Timberview and North Lamar to claim seventh place.

"I was real pleased with the way we played the second day," said SSHS head coach Rahn Smith. "Several of the girls shot what they were capable of. 

"We dug ourselves in a hole the first day, but I thought we came back and competed well on the second day. We did come back and played well under very tough conditions and actually shot better the second day."

Junior Whitney McDaniel, the District 12-4A medalist, rebounded from an 89 on the first 18 holes to post an 84 on Tuesday. She finished 13th in the individual standings.

"Coming out of the first day, Whitney was real disappointed, and she was definitely capable of shooting better than she did," Smith said. "She didn't have a real good day putting. She was hitting the ball well, but she just wasn't scoring well.

"She came back and played well the second day. I think she has a real good shot next year at going to state."

Freshman Britney Cheatham followed Monday's 96 with a 97 on the second day, and junior Kylie Littlefield carded a 97-98. Smith was especially pleased with senior Jessica Anderson, who in the final round of her high school career put up a career-best 97. Junior Cherish Bolton finished with a 120 to go with Monday's 114.

"It was the first regional experience for a lot of them, and I could tell when we pulled up that they were nervous. You could tell that by their first several holes," Smith said. "I think overall it was a good experience for all of them. They had fun and played a good course. They saw there's just a little bit of difference between those top teams and us, and we've got to correct some things and work on some things in the summer to get better if we want to compete with them."

Highland Park Gold finished with a two-day total of 619, and Justin Northwest won a playoff with Highland Park Blue to advance to state as well after both teams shots 690.

Individually, McKinney's Tiffany Phelps won medalist honors with a 70-72-142 total.

Boys

DENTON - The Wildcats broke a tie for eighth place after the first round to capture eighth all alone. They followed Monday's 332 round with a 342 total on Tuesday for a 674 two-day score.

Junior Dustin Gideon was the top SSHS scorer as he finished 22nd individually with a 76-82-158 total.  He had the lowest round each day for the Cats.

"Dustin finished in the top 25 again, and I was proud of him for that. The conditions yesterday were really, really tough," said head coach Doug Evans. "He has a good chance to advance to state next year. He has the talent - things will just have to come together at the right time."

The Wildcats will be losing three seniors - Seth Northcutt, who carded an 82-83-165, and Chase Helm and Sam Dolan who both finished with a 180.

Dolan cut 12 strokes off his first-day score of 96, and Helm finished with a 93 final round.

"I was real pleased with the guys to get to advance to regional. They really wanted to go out in style, those three seniors especially, and I would have liked to see them have the type of score they were capable of shooting. It wasn't a horrible day, but it wasn't as good as they wanted it to be," Evans said.

The problem, as it has been many times this year, was with their putting.

"With this course, there are two important things - you have to put the ball in the right place off the tee, and you've got to get the ball close up to the hole on those big, undulating greens to have a decent putt," Evans explained. "The combination of not putting well and not having the ball in the right place on the greens was our problem."

Highland Park Blue shot a 584 to win the regional title, and McKinney earned the other state berth with a 609. HP freshman Cory Gribble earned medalist honors with a 139.

Overall, Evans said it was a successful year as the Wildcats came from sixth place after the first district round to earn a regional bid.

"They played well all year," he said. "It was good for them to get back to regional and have that team experience, that camaraderie."

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